Sown in peace

Chapter 8

Good Monday Morning to this week 8 of 2021

Today from the book of James

The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:18

St Mary’s Catholic Church in Umbarger, Texas, was an unlikely place for an international work of art. But toward the end of World War II, seven Italian prisoners of war, who were being held at a large camp nearby, were chosen to help decorate the church’s plain brick walls.

The prisoners were reluctant to aid their captors, but they agreed on the condition that their efforts be considered a contribution toward Christian brotherhood and understanding. But as they worked on their paintings and a woodcarving of the Last Supper, one of the POWs later recalled, “A spontaneous stream of good feelings began almost at once to flow among us.” No one spoke of the war or the past because “we were here for a work of peace and love.”

Our lives are filled with unlikely settings for introducing God’s peace. We can feel imprisoned by hard feelings, strained relationships, and confining circumstances. But peace has the power to break out anywhere. James reminded us that “the wisdom that is from above is . . . peaceable, gentle, willing to yield . . . . The fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace. James 3:17-18

The best peacemakers are those who know the peace of God.

Wherever we are today, ask God to use you as His peacemaker.

Wishing a good start to this new week!

Philemon

Peace within

Chapter 7

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. 1. Peter 5.7

Good Monday Morning to this week 7 of 2021

There is no question that we live in a high-pressured time, we have responsibilities, personal expectations, work, family and alongside many personal goals. The further and the longer this pandemic goes on, the more anxiety is around, not knowing of how the illness or the consequences will change us or augment anxiety. Often anxiety can be like an inner pressure-cooker.

King Solomon wrote: “Anxiety in the heart of a person causes dejection, but a good word will turn it into joy.” The Hebrew word and thinking we find for dejection – “yashchenah”, has three different meanings, depending on how the word is read. It can mean:

1. to suppress.
2. to ignore.
3. to articulate.

A first level – Suppression

Suppression can be necessary in terms of both ourselves, and of the situation. Very often we become so obsessed with a situation that we forget that there are other important and issues. Recognizing this can lessen its intensity. The problem may still be there, but it has been cut down to size and no longer threatens to crush us. This all in regard to anxiety.

Another level – Disassociating

Ignoring like in separating ourselves from it, disassociating from it. The lesson here is that the mind is never empty. According to the laws of physics, nature abhors a vacuum, and emptiness is going to attract something. Therefore we remove ourselves from the negative by ignoring it, separating ourselves from it, and embracing “the God” perspective

A third level – Articulating

Is this where Peter comes in? Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you!

“If there is anxiety in the heart of a person, articulate it, speak about it, and a good word will bring joy. We need to have people in our lives who we respect and to whom we turn for advice. In the Torah the idea has often been advocated, of having someone to speak with, finding a counselor, someone with whom you can speak and who can help give you guidance. When we speak about something, we bring it out into the open and in Peter’s words we bring it to the Creator.

He who best can do something about it. With renewed strength and perspective we walk through anxiety.

In Psalm 55.22 it says, “cast your burdens/anxiety upon the Lord, he shall sustain thee!

Wishing you peace within!

Philemon

God’s time is Patience

Chapter 6

Good Monday Morning to this week 6 of 2021

The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. 2 Peter 3.9

Peter continues to answer the mocking of the false teachers. They ask, “Where is this coming Jesus promised?” They teach that it’s been too long, He is not coming. The first reminder was to remember that God is not bound to human time. For God, a thousand years is like a day and vice versa. God is not subjected to our limitations of time, or even our confusion about it, or the way we get stressed about it.

Peter insists that this implies in a equal way, as to the question of time, it implies to his promises. God is not slow in keeping His promises, He the one who set the schedule. He cannot be “late.” nor ahead of time. Instead, God keeps these His promised, every promise at His, God’s time.

For us this feeling of being delayed, can mean the opposite, it is a witness of God’s patience not his tardiness. In His love-driven patience, God is willing to give more time for the fulfillment of the promises and the enfolding of His coming Kingdom. In the heart of God is that none be lost, not even “one of the 100 sheep” as in another parabol. In His sovereignty and power God decided not to demand by force. Peter shares and show us this exactly, God’s heart for his people. Mercifully God is creating more space and time for the fulfillment of His promises.

This thought fills me with hope, it’s not just God’s patience, but His time creating more space for the fulfillment of His promises!

Wishing you a good start to this new week!

Philemon